As a first time mother, I have relied on books as well as experiences from other parents to guide me through the various stages of my children's lives.
I also believe in not pushing my children when they are uninterested / not ready for an activity or in reaching so-called developmental milestones for their age. Instead, I embrace their interests and curiosities by supporting them so that the gleam in their eyes remain sparkling and happy.
One aspect that they have been interested in for the last 4 weeks is Self-Feeding. Well, they've been feeding themselves finger foods for awhile now. What I am referring to is, self-feeding during a meal - using a spoon on their own, breaking long blocks of cheese into manageable bite size pieces on their own without my assistance, learning to take small bites out of a whole strawberry, learning to slurp long strands of spaghetti, etc
The spoon was first introduced as a toy - a distraction so that they'd stop shaking their heads (a developmental milstone) when I feed them. The distraction worked and within a week, they worked out which was the correct end of the spoon to place in their mouths. Now, I put a teeny bit of their dinner in their bowl shown above in the pics and they use their spoon to swish it around.
Now with every meal time at home, they are given at least two courses of entrees that they can feed themselves with - be it cheese and pasta (shells or spaghetti). Two courses of dessert - fruit and whole crackers which they must break on their own.
By allowing them time and opportunity to work these out for themselves (they think it's all play anyway - which is great because children learn best through play), it also gives me the time and opportunity to do other things around the home like cook dinner, clean up kitchen, tidy up, etc. Certainly a win-win for all.
The children were gifted these for their 1st birthdays and it has certainly enhanced their interest and curiosity in self-feeding without up turning the bowls and contents onto each other's heads or floor! They are from Heinz and it is their unbelievabowl.